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As British summertime draws to a close, where can we catch the last of the summer sun? In Europe, Romania is celebrating the George Enescu Festival, with classical music performances to honour the Romanian composer. Italy, Portugal and Greece still have sun and fewer crowds. In Brazil, September is the Pantanal’s dry season, with warm days and cool nights it’s the best time to spot a jaguar. Namibia also has its dry season and the skies are a pure blue. It is one of the best times for wildlife viewing, especially in the Etosha National Park, where large herds of animals are common, including: elephants, giraffes, zebras, kudus and more. In Australia and New Zealand, the spring bloom is brightening up the days and Brisbane Festival is three weeks of music, comedy and theatrical events.
September is a popular time to visit Kenya as it’s both sunny and there is little rainfall. Spotting animals tends to be easy as animals flock to water and wildebeest are aplenty in the Maasai Mara. Around 2 million wildebeest enjoy greener pastures in Kenya before migrating back to the Serengeti in Tanzania in October. As zebras and wildebeest graze, big cats and other predators make their pounce, often leading to great viewing. Migratory birds are also on the move, so have binoculars at the ready. Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria are great for spotting colourful flamingoes, while Lake Naivasha is home to giraffes, impala and hippos. The temperatures at the Kenyan coast start to rise and can reach the high 20s, the perfect relaxation after a safari.
The monsoon season ends in August, and from mid-September the driest period begins. Rain still falls, but there is less than the preceding months, so travelling in the country is easier. The skies are clear and mountain peaks are set against vivid blues. It is also the time for one of Bhutan’s biggest festivals, the Thimphu Tshechu. Held in the capital, this spiritual festival is attended by people from remote villages around the country. The central focus is on the complex dances performed by masked monks, but markets also open up and the atmosphere is palpable.
In September, the weather is warm and dry in most of the country. As high season ebbs away towards the end of August, you compete with smaller crowds at famous attractions. As it turns to autumn, the countryside will be peppered with shades of red and yellow. It is still warm enough to enjoy coastal areas, yet not stifling when exploring historical ruins in the sunshine. September brings harvest, so along with food and wine festivals, it is truffle and wild mushrooms season. Venice is host to the historic boat race, Regata storica and the International Film Festival while Verona celebrates Juliet’s birthday.